Wednesday, December 29, 2004

epicentre of help...

Just check out these links

and do the little that is humanely possible.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

To Di

Two years ago if someone had remarked to me that I would be best pals with someone 3 years older to me , my intellectual response would have been “Bah!"
But here I am eating my own words as I try to pen this ode for this young mother who makes the 1.5 hour bus ride back home worth every moment!

My first impression of her was that she is elder to me. I know that is not what one traditionally calls a first impression but then I had just come out of college and my training was with a bunch of no-gooders like me and the last thing I wanted was to be in a project with a verbose man and two married women, one of whom had a 7 month old kid. I just longed for lunch when I can run and be with “people my age”.

What I had not bargained for is a married woman with an infectious smile. Now there are 3 kinds of smiles. Smiles that warm your heart like Preethi’s and Mani’s do ( About them in another blog) and smiles that are soaked in disdain and smiles that are matched in beauty by the twinkle in the person’s eyes that you land up smiling though the object of ridicule is you. Hers belongs to the third category.
We share nothing in common except for the lunch time, our love for books and Route No: 4. Yet unless reminded explicitly I would never have realized I am talking with a wife and mother. Such is her charm. (Damn! If she doesn’t treat me for this one line, I am gonna be heartbroken)

Kudos to Divs- a colleague who makes work comfortable, mother of a handsome young man all of 1.5 years old, the friend who’ll discuss crushes and strategies with equal élan, my scheming partner in pranks and The Walker’s club President!

Now that i have written about her, i am sure one Mandoo guy is going to insist i blog on him too :p

guess what

the old man lives after all.

yeah i don't sound quite happy but the only nice thing was we all got to leave office early :-D
I was blessed enough to reach home on time to drink tea made by amma.

Now am back in the dungeon keying away on a design document.
I need to be more reckless...should i pull my comp off the LAN and scream 'F1'?

Aaaargh! 8 more long hours to be put in office :-(

Monday, December 27, 2004


Tsunami - Who would have thought that this cute word stood for a killer Tidal Wave?
- The wave that left death and devastation in its wake...
- The wave that left millions homeless...

Damn! I sound like an NDTV correspondent and this blog is not aimed at gaining TRP ratings while showing the pain and pathos.
But there is a lingering image in my mind that leaves me heavy-hearted.

She was hysterical as she explained to the reporter, arms beating at her chest...two kids...she heard the commotion and ran out of her house...with her 8 month old kid in her arms and holding tightly to her 6 year old...she was thrown against a tree and she lived. Lived to tell a sleazy reporter about how she lost her two kids whom she tried to she wished she too had she wished....pointless.

She was an unconsolable grandmother holding tightly to her granddaughter . Her grandson was lost to the waves.
Another body. Another face. Another story but all with a heavy undercurrent of tragedy that numbs you. Numbs you not because you are not connecting to them, numbs coz this was not how you wanted to wake up on a lazy Sunday morning.
How i wish i didn't see TV yesterday.

If yesterday stood for a mournful silence, today is for reckless plundering.

As I type this line, my company HRD has asked everyone to leave office ASAP as there is unrest in the city. Rumours abound that the DMK party big wig M.Karunanidhi has passed away.
Shutters are being brought down on shops and people rushing back home from office to escape the crazy party loyalists.
If the rumours are true, i feel sorry for the old man. But i still feel we are better off without another Janus in our midst.

And this brings me back to my previous post. Why are we so active when we can do with a silent prayer in our hearts for that departed soul? Why are we so passive when it comes to giving up Project Party Fund towards Relief for the victims?
My office welfare org has tied up with other NGOs and help is already underway...but somehow the way my team reacted to this, the way they said let's have the project party somewhere else other than the beach kind of leaves me bewildered.

Are we already dead deep inside and are we slogging in office just to fill that hollowness?
The answer is lost in the noise of the waves...

Active and Passive voices

Does anyone really care anymore?
I do.
But does anyone care about the fact that I care?
Do I care about the issue of no one caring about the fact that I care.
I don’t. Maybe I should.

Let me elaborate.
Saturday evening amma, appa and yours truly decided to board the bus home from Aunt’s home rather than spend 15 bucks on that useless auto rickshaw (Don't ask me why but end-of-month economics are no longer micro or macro. They just exist). Appa decided to board through the back entrance while my mom and I went to the front entrance of the bus. Amma had just managed to get on to the first step when the driver decided it was time to ‘do the locomotion’. I started banging the bus from the road while still trying to run with it (It is a cryptic clue to the mentally challenged bus-driver used in Timbuktu as against your initial thought that I am doing a panic act). Amma did her best to scream aloud. Finally the driver relented, stopped for a jiffy(which is still not a second). I boarded the bus while my mother regained not just her balance but also her lost temper.

One false move from my mother or from me, and I don’t know if I would be here penning this blog at all. What struck me as odd in this entire racket was that the crowd seated inside the bus didn’t so much as whisper anything to that erratic driver. They could see my mother trying to find a foothold, they could hear me screaming for the driver to stop but they just remained rooted to their spot.

What makes us who we are? Why have we turned so passive? How does asking the bus driver to stop be construed as 'going out of your way'? Or am I missing a clue here?
“It is not the action that determines our happiness but our reaction to that action”.

Going by this adage, should I actively scream for more response or remain passively silent?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

India Smiles and My Mood Index

Thanks to Vishnu( i barely know him and i seem to be thanking him in every other post. One more and i might as well write an eulogy in his praise!) and, i got my own mood index too :-D
And this is for the general public visiting my blog, there is this India Smiles Contest organised by So all you young witty hilarious writers, time to unleash the demon within :-D [Thanks Venu for the tip!]
Yeah i know am inviting competition but then what to do, i am essentially a good gurl :p

Have a nice rest of the week!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Grrr...yesh am Angry. Bitter.Claustrophobic.
Caught in the midst of many more emotional turbulences...not necessarily in an alphabetical order.
I definitely wanna get outta here but i just don't seem to find the hole to crawl out of.
There is a design spec glaring at me and then there is this Defect Prevention meeting i have called for. Why? No clue at all. The only way i can prevent defects is by not writing any code at all.

If i do get out of this bubble, i would definitely have a story to share...
Calling Prince - shining armour not important as long as he has a sharp safety pin to prick this bubble!
Till then...

Monday, December 13, 2004

To lie or not to the loo

Does anyone watch the channel Pogo? I was tuned in to ‘Two of a kind’ which is this comedy on a single dad with a pair of twins. He is a professor and his student is his baby-sitter. Now last night the story was how he goofs up when he tries to fix a trouble between his baby-sitter and her best friend. He tries to patch up but the baby-sitter stomps off to the ladies’ restroom in the restaurant. He tries hard to wait and after a few seconds duly follows her into the Restroom :-D. He gets in and is about to continue his argument when he notices the couch. He is stumped and he asks incredulously to her "You have a couch in your restroom?" to which she answers matter-of-factly “That is where we sit and wonder why men were put on earth”…The rest of the story is unimportant coz I just found my blog-inspiration…the answer to why men are put on earth.

Now I have never been inside a mens’ restroom but going by the actor’s look of amazement I can safely assume they don’t have a chair much less a couch. So why does a girls’ restroom have one? Of course, my office restrooms do not have such luxury but I do remember walking into this artistically designed restroom in a 3*** hotel here in Chennai. Well they didn’t have a couch but they did have an armchair…a really huge armchair which completely engulfed me when I sat on it plus the best part is it is done in velvet.

(The following para would not make sense to anyone who was not a nomad once in Rajasthan.)
But not all restrooms that have couches have such elaborate ones. I still remember this particular restroom in our college FD-I (Faculty Division I). Enter through the second door which takes you straight to the main IPC (Institute Processing Centre) but don’t go to the main one. Take the immediate left that goes to the second IPC and again don’t go in there either. You wouldn’t find the couch. At the end of this normally bright corridor is a dark room close to the stair case. Welcome to the Girls’ restroom. As soon as you enter you would find a spacious room in the corner of which is the couch. Then there is a customized Oriental screen beyond which are the bathrooms.

Coming back to the couch, now this is a relic by any standards. It is a wooden couch that can seat two, the kinds that don’t have cushions but a plastic thread woven for the seats, quaint but comfortable all the same. The only hitch here is to circumvent the problem of complaints they haven’t wiped the couch since the day it was brought in. There is a 3-inch thick layer of dust settled since the times when Anu Hassan studied there or may be even more. This acts as a perfect repellant for any prospective user. To this date no one has figured out the purpose behind that solitary couch. Of course there is another couch in another girls' restroom in FD-II first floor, closer to the EMEC labs I think.

My office restrooms don’t have couches. Believe it or not, I miss them
It’s not always that you find the loo empty. So one might as well spend the wait time lounging on the sofa. However if it is a matter of great urgency I think ‘casual lounging’ wouldn’t really help…maybe then she can measure the perimeter of the sofa :-D
You can catch up on the latest fashion in town while away from prying eyes. Why not do it in style on the couch?
You can bitch about Mrs.So&So (just make sure she is not the one in the occupied loo)
Most important, good for mothers-to-be to catch some breath (provided they sprayed enough Pine Fresh air-freshener) This is much true in my office where every 5th woman is pregnant!

Was this blog on why couches should be in restrooms or on Why men were put on earth? I have no clue. Looks like I have justified the presence of couches but men…maybe another blog. If I can find them reasons.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Oh my God! it's gone!

Why can’t birth days last longer than 24 hours? I mean, I spend an entire year waiting for that one beautiful day and then it is gone in a snap! Just like that. I wish I had the power to make all Birth days last for one Jovian day ( I don’t know how long that is but it should definitely be longer than 24h:-D). But this blog is not about the bigger picture rather it is all for the nitty-gritty’s (what is the correct spelling!) of birthdays – The Cards!

I turned 4 times my birthdate a few days back. However I received only 1/8th of my age as greeting cards. Okay for those weak in Math, let me add another clue, I received just THREE cards. Damn! What happened to the world of people in my life????
Nopes. They did not forget but then you see, we live in this techno-crazy world where what can be conveyed in a nanosecond over phone/email need not be put through the arduous ritual of walking by aisles of cards to select that purrfect one.

Why did I get that 3 anyway? Primo, my parents refused to be part of the Internet Cult and secundo, my 10 year old cousin finds it more exciting to use her set of crayons than MSPaint or (should I ask them money for advertisement?) and thirdo, my best friend is a stickler for doing the "right" thing with the right amount of dedication! Kudos to them!

Looks like all these wonderful inventions have just crippled us and reduced our circle. I know I am talking just the opposite of what they actually do. But then if you are a starry-eyed little girl who believes more in Faraway trees and fighting the Romans, then all this gigabytes and terabytes of information available for picking is not really enticing!

My wardrobe has one shelf completely devoted to packets and packets of cards starting from my 4th standard. Of course that was an age when pocket money was still a dream. Those yellowed papers torn from geography and history notebooks, with a simple “Happy Birth Day” scribbled across with a blunt pencil, speak volumes.

Somehow I find it impossible to imagine myself with my little angel on my lap, both of us staring at the monitor and Mommy showing her this emotional b’day email from an age long forgotten. I am sure my computer would crash innumerable times before such a moment arrives and delete those wonderful mails. Of course I could copy it onto a CD, but wonder if that would last the ravages of time at my clumsy hands.

But I can definitely picture myself in this time of reference – My little angel and I sitting cross-legged on the floor, by the French window in my new home, poring over reams and reams of crumpled and yellowed papers and cards and listening to her “Oooh Amma, look at this card! Isn’t this bunny cute?” and I respond with a hug though to my corrupted-with-adult-ideas-brain that looks more like a balloon. *sigh*

But for now, all that I can do, as a 24 year old romantic little girl who refuses to grow up, is wait…for my very own little angel. I know they exist because among the many nanosecond calls that I received, one was from this 1 year old cherub of a niece whispering softly in the phone “appi baduke ammai”.

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting”…Kipling knew this little girl!

A toast for the few and far between...

Yes, it’s been a long time but then I had almost given up on the notion that someone was visiting my blog. Three cheers to Aarti, Vishnu and Vitalstatistix for reviving the fire within!

This note is for you. *smile*

And to Daddykins who is proving a point,to Mother Boo who is creating waves in the SD beach and to ms.Drew who is lolling in France!

And to Aarti's Mr.B, who brought back memories of Rinty, Steffi and Cozmo. I have to visit them this Christmas. Rinty n Steffi are my best friend Jenny's kids(You can call them dogs only if you want to be clobbered by her n the rest of the family) while Cozmo is this huge and naughty grand child. That makes me aunt & grand-aunt in a single go!

And to my project team which is under the impression that I am doing impact analysis right this moment *wink*